Articles Arter museum opens in Istanbul

Arter contemporary art museum → in Istanbul has opened its doors to the public. A subsidiary of Turkey’s philanthropic Vehbi Koç Foundation, Arter is a vibrant cultural hub that brings together artists and audiences to celebrate contemporary art in all its forms and disciplines. Conceived as a dynamic multi-layered, interdisciplinary public building for showcasing Arter’s collection of artistic works, it offers a rich cultural programme, enhancing, stimulating and challenging audiences’ experience and impressions.

Grimshaw’s design for Arter hinges around spaces that promote access for everyone, both within and outside of the museum. Large picture windows open the building to the street and connect the gallery to the city, while a triple height entrance gallery forges a visual and physical public route through the centre of the museum, making the building accessible and welcoming to all.

Internally, a series of interconnected exhibition and performance spaces promote interplay and fluidity between visual arts, performance and multimedia, to stimulate, inspire and delight.

Externally, 3D convex and concave rhomboid-shaped panels create a dramatic and inviting envelope across the building’s façade, and reflect the sun as it moves across the museum throughout the day.

Kirsten Lees, Managing Partner of Grimshaw’s London studio, and Jamie Pearson, Associate, travelled to Istanbul for Arter’s opening week, participating in a range of events, tours and celebration to mark the occasion. Ahead of the opening, Kirsten said: “The Foundation’s complex and sophisticated vision for a major arts destination in Istanbul was a thrilling challenge. We worked hard to create a museum that will intrigue, invite exploration and provide multi-layered opportunities for everyone to discover, enjoy and deepen their engagement with the arts.”

Arter opened to the public on Friday 13 September with seven inaugural exhibitions. The greatly anticipated launch took place ahead of the 16th Istanbul Biennial, a city-wide celebration of cultural and creative diversity in the field of visual arts, drawing in a captivated international audience from around the world.